WRC ORLEN 80th Rally Poland
Starts: Thursday, June 27, 2024 at 8:00:00 AM
ERC Delfi Rally Estonia
Starts: Friday, July 5, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM
Ferratum World RX of Sweden 1
Starts: Saturday, July 6, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM

Fri 03 Nov 2023

Suninen: We can be happy with sixth on asphalt return

After close to two years away from the FIA World Rally Championship’s top-flight on asphalt, Teemu Suninen was happy enough with sixth at last week’s Central European Rally.

The Finn’s last Tarmac WRC counter at the highest level was when he stood in for Ott Tänak and finished sixth in Monza, 2021. Last week he spent much of the tri-nation event embroiled in a scrap with his more experienced Toyota rival Takamoto Katsuta.

While he just missed out on the Japanese’s fifth place in Passau, he bagged plenty of experience and feels he’s put himself in a favourable position when Hyundai team principal, Cyril Abiteboul, comes to make his decisions about who will join Thierry Neuville and Ott Tänak in a factory i20 N Rally1 next year.

“Generally,” said Suninen, “the rally was good. I haven’t done one like this for two years, so I was thrown in at the deep end. I’m satisfied with the job I’ve done, I was pretty much where I expected to be on paper at what is the hardest rally for me on the calendar.”

Ever-changing conditions complicated grip levels and often confused the crews' understanding of how the road was evolving.

Suninen added: “Every loop was different in terms of weather and conditions, so there was a lot of learning. I had good pace in places – like going second fastest on SS11 – but my experience wasn’t enough to adapt to the conditions of the car from the very first kilometre.

“I’d like to say a big thanks to the team, it was a great season. It was nice to jump in the car mid-season and take on this challenge; I think this is a good position to continue building on from here.”